The European Union (EU) has taken legal action against a former EU member for allegedly violating international law and failing to comply with the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The UK Government unilaterally extended post-Brexit rules on cargo restrictions to benefit Northern Irish companies.
The formal procedural violation procedure will end in the European Court of Justice and the disputed system presented in the withdrawal agreement will begin.
To avoid the “painful” border on the Irish island, the protocol included in the agreement must ensure compliance with the European Check rules for goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Restrictions have recently disrupted supply chains in Northern Ireland, prompting protests from right-wing Democrats, Protestants and conservative Ulster.
The grace period required to comply with the new rules will expire later this month, so far their application has been delayed. In order to protect the interests of Northern Ireland and especially to keep supermarket shelves, the UK has no choice but to extend the temporary period beyond the deadline.
However, the decision, confirmed by Northern Ireland Secretary of State Brandon Lewis last week, was taken unilaterally without informing the European Commission, a blow to trust between the two countries after a difficult period of divorce.
Due to the lack of customs, the two countries share a border on the island of Ireland with a separate trade system. “Recent actions have again led the UK to a breach of international legal obligations and a duty of good faith,” EU Vice President Maros Sefkovic told his British counterpart, David Frost.
This is the further breakdown in the relationship since the transition period for divorce ended on January 1st. Controversy and debate have arisen over the fight against vaccines and the full diplomatic recognition of the European Union in Britain. Now again, the dispute over the terms of the divorce agreement.
A UK government spokesman said the measures were temporary and aimed at easing disruptions in Northern Ireland and would respond to the European Commission in a timely manner. “They are legal and are part of a progressive and positive belief in the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol,” the spokesman said in a statement. There are examples of such low-level activities in the early days of major international agreements. This is a normal process when implementing new agreements, not one that justifies legal action ”.
Northern Ireland’s Prime Minister Arlene Foster has accused the European Union of acting “selfishly” in its decision to take legal action against the British government. “Brussels’ failure to recognize the damage caused by the protocol to Northern Ireland was further demonstrated by this move to litigation,” Foster said.
Meanwhile, exports to the European Union fell by 40.7 per cent in the first month after Brexit, or 5.6 billion. Economists say Brexit plays a crucial role and will continue to measure UK growth. “Brexit has made matters worse,” said Samuel Tombs, the British chief economist.
Suren Thiru, head of the Department of Economics at the British Chamber of Commerce, said: “The practical difficulties facing businesses on Earth are beyond mere dental problems.